Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Steampunk Festival Happenings and Outfits WIPs

Hello blogging world!

Ok probably no one. But whatever.

Today I bring to you some of my works in progress for upcoming steampunk conventions.
Looking for Group ala Steampunk
What is steampunk? Generally it's classified as a neo-victorian aesthetic movement. Think a love of cephalopods, tophats, bustles, gears, steam, tea etc etc. Here's Looking for Group all steampunk-ed up for reference.

I'm FINALLY getting to go to some conventions this year!! I'm going to Salt City Steamfest in Salt Lake City July and SteamCon in Seattle in October.

Here's why I'm super excited: Unwoman (cellist musician extraordinaire) is going to be at Salt Lake Steamfest. I LOVE her music. It's always beautiful and touches you in some way. I'm pretty sure she's one of the coolest human beings alive. Here's her playing "The Heroine" which is probably my favorite song:
On top of that awesomeness, I get to have tea there with a dessert bar and get to meet her in person. Tea+Steampunk+Unwoman+Dessert=Epic Times. Added plus, Vernian Process is going to be there. This is their newest single.

I'm excited for SteamCon too! Professor Elemental is going to be there doing his awesome and hilarious chap hop and he also did a series of adventures on YouTube the first of which I've posted here for your enjoyment:

Otto and Victoria in the Dog Park
Brian Kesinger, who does amazing art that I want to hang in every room in my house, is going to be there. One of my favorite pieces (of his Otto and Victoria series) is to the left.

PLUS, I just found out Abney Park is going to be there! This is one of their less talked about songs, "The Clockyard," but I really love it:

TOO. MUCH. AWESOME. IN. ONE. PLACE. Also, I get to go to Seattle which will be a nice change from the desert wastelands of Northern NV. 

Now, onto the OUTFITS!!

The first piece that I'm almost done with is a Victorian recreation piece. It has hand stitched detailing (hours and hours and hours of work....let me tell you. Lots of cursing involved there.), hand stitched cartridge pleats in back, a separate bodice piece with immense tailoring and a false jacket and bust pad. Oof it was a lot of work. But well worth it I think.

I will be pairing it with my black top hat and some sort of black shoe.

The second piece is a kimono-style dress that I drafted together. The top is based off of a traditional kimono pattern and the bottom is free handed. I still need to finish the turquoise/teal edging on the sleeves and hem. Plus finish a petticoat for it (also in progress). It will be closed by a faux leather waist cincher and accented with a vintage golden koi brooch that I will be attaching to a headband or feather pad fascinator. I may even make a thigh holster for some vials or something. Also, probably paired with some sort of brown shoe.

The other planned outfits include a blue bustle skirt with some form of top and one of my many corsets and a jodphur style pant with an Indian influence top. Probably also with that faux leather waist cincher. I'm also making some pieces for hubby so stayed tuned for those too.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Birchbox vs. Ipsy Round 2 (June Review)

It's round 2 after a tied first round! Let's see how this shakes out.

Background: Ipsy is a make-up subscription box. Birchbox is a beauty/make-up subscription box. I subscribe to both. They are $10/month.


Ipsy: On the Wild Side

In this month's "wild" box I got a NYX Cream Rouge Blush in Boho Chic, a Starlooks lip pencil in Tipsy, a J. Cat Beauty cream Palette in Suzie, Psssst Dry Shampoo, and a Cailyn gel eyeliner in Iron. Plus a rather standard leopard print bag.

The Good:
NYX: Actually really like this cream blush. I got Boho Chic which is a medium pink color. I always powder over it because I'm not into the dew-y look but the color and application is nice.

Starlooks: I like the pencil. It's a little light for me (why have you forsaken me burgundy plum colors???!!!) I don't use a lip liner all that often but it's nice enough.

J. Cat: GLITTER! I love me some glitter. I know everyone was freaking out that this isn't deemed as eyeshadow, but here's the thing: no make-up company will tell you big chunky glitter is 100% safe around your eyes. I wear Medusa's glitter around my eyes all the time. You just have to be careful. If you get it in your eyes, there is a chance of injury. So, I will be reviewing this product on 2 fronts: body glitter (not to make pictures as suggested but as collarbone/cleavage accents) and eyeliner/shadow. As a collarbone cleavage accent it works great. Just a little sparkle. Eyeliner/eyeshadow.....eh not as perfectly. Nice for accent and tipping the end of cat eye eyeliner though.

Cailyn: I have heard great things about this and was super excited to try it. Was definitely hoping for the purple. However I got the gunmetal (which is fine...just not as fun). I actually liked this product so much I bought 2 other colors (purple and fall night). It is super smudge proof, has a brush in the handle and goes on easy. LOVE. Also, LOOK AT ALL THE COLORS!!!!

The OK:
Pssst: Dry shampoo is apparently a big summer thing. I hear it's good for extending stylings (which I never get done) so for me I though "ehhhhh" but I'll try it out. I also got one in my Birchbox so this is a good "apples to apples" type comparison. (See below for Birchbox). It was ok for me. Not the best product. I would probably only use it camping or after a workout.

Birchbox: Wanderlust

So for the "travel themed" box I got: 2 samples of 100% Pure Nourishing Body Cream in Coconut and Vanilla, Mirenesse Glossy Kiss in Perfect Kiss, Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser, Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo, Color Club Wanderlust Collection: Reign in Spain.

The Good:
100% Pure: Ok, this stuff is nice. At first I was like "aw, small samples" but then I used one. With one tiny packet I was able to lotion my arms and legs plus my husband's hands. Which is pretty damn impressive. And the smell is divine. So much so that one of my doxie mixes kept trying to lick it off of me. Could use a bit more hydrating power, but I live in a desert so I can't expect miracles.

Mirenesse: LOVED this. Love me some lip color and the hydration is great. I love that it's a semi stain. I even like the color. However, I wish they made more colors (a nice dark plumy burgundy....please? PRETTY PLEEEASE???) Hopefully they extend the colors in that line.

Suki: I wish the sample were bigger only because it's a really nice product. I was really excited to get this as I've heard amazing things. It smells like Lemonheads which  is a big win for me (mostly because it's one of hubby's favorite candies). It is a gentle exfoliate and you don't have to use a lot. I won't be purchasing only because I need an aggressive exfoliate. I live in the desert and work in mining so I'm constantly exposed to wind, dust, and chemicals- gentle just doesn't cut it for me. Otherwise, very nice product. EDIT: If you don't foam it before applying to face as directed it's much more aggressive and wonderful.

Color Club: Love nail polish. Wish it was a bigger bottle but for $10 I will not complain. The color is like an electric coral which I am all about. This sucker is bright! It is gorgeous. I can't speak to the chip resistance of it as I have an awful habit of picking at my nail polish while I'm at work. However, I managed to keep myself from picking for two days and there were almost no chips. Not quite as good as, say, Zoya (which lasts for ages on my nails if I don't pick at it) but still impressive.
The OK:
Klorane: Wasn't sure how I felt about this when opening the box. I've never used dry shampoo and my black-dyed hair scoffed at the idea of placing a white mist in my hair. But I'm open to new ideas and I work long hours in a mining environment so I said "what the hell? I'll give it a shot." I let my hair go unwashed from Monday until Wednesday night. My hair is short and doesn't build up oils very quickly so it needed three days. Wednesday night I used it and let it work overnight (I heard this is preferable for people using it to soak up oils and not extend hair dos). It was just ok for me. Better than Pssst. But still not for me.

All in all, I was pretty damn impressed with both of this month's bags. Like, super impressed. So what's the verdict? Tie again! Whoo!

If you want to join ipsy here's a link: Join IPSY
If you want to join Birchbox go here: Join BIRCHBOX